Pioneer Troubadours
ON THE ROAD AGAIN SERIES

 

Will tell the road stories of old and new... from

Pioneer Troubadours to the new acts barn burnin'

 

"The stories from my favorite books,

take on many different looks and I am
home again gone again."     Jimmy Buffett

Rodney Crowell asks Johnny Cash once, "What do you do to get
get really famous?"  Cash said, "Go to the airport 290 times a year."

 

 

..
Ramblin' Jack Elliott in the
Drivers seat of a tour bus

 

We have talked to Jackson Browne about using this song for the series

and have green light...stay tuned for more on Jackson as a Pioneer Troub.

Since Medieval times Troubadours have been traveling

from town to town, totin' a guitar, or some other musical

instruments...singing their songs of poetry and love,

heartbreak and about the roads that they travel.  From

Minstrel Shows and Medicine Shows to the Rag Operas,

theaters, roadhouse and honkytonks.

 

 

 

The new reality orientation of TV has changed what people find as exciting.  People want more information from
their viewing time.  They don't want so anymore to just see made up Hollywood stories, they want to learn about
something that is more a view of "reality."   For anyone in the music business the road is the reality, sound checks

are reality, hotel rooms and truck stops are reality.  Hanging on the bus for hours upon hours is the reality...

 

A very interesting part of the music business and the entertainment business itself is the life on the road.  I am not

only talking about life on the road the way young popular artists like Justin Bieber and Keith Sweat do it, but real

troubadour life on the road.  The weeks and months living in the tour busses, load in and set up of the sound and

lighting equipment, and many of the other elements that are put in place the day of a big concert to make it happen

and become entertainment for the ticket buyers is a big part of the music business itself.  Most of the troubadours

of today the years past travel the U.S. in their busses.  Much of our show will take place on and around these

wagons that move music down the white lines...

Truck that holds the stage and screens for the

Merle Haggard UFO Festival in New Mexico

Norm has been on the road with Haggard for many moons

My hat don't hang on the same nail too long.
My ears can't stand to hear the same old song.
An' I don't leave the highway long enough,
To bog down in the mud.
'Cos I've got ramblin' fever in my blood.

Caught this ramblin' fever long ago,
When I first heard a lonesome whistle blow.
If someone said I ever gave a damn,
Man, they damn sure told you wrong.
I've had ramblin' fever all along.

 RAMBLIN' MAN 
BY MERLE HAGGARD

The concert business is a very key element to the music business overall.   Not only is it a place where really most of
the acts make their money, but the concert tours are what actually boost the music sales for a certain artist or record
label.  The artist CD sales go up during the days of pre concert hype, and the days shortly after their gig.  Now, we
also have the fact that many artist are having to go out on the road to make money, in that the Internet has caused
many of the big music labels to shut down their A & R departments, labels are merging and the sales of music CDs
are at a all time low.

Travel and the life of troubadours is a reality of the singer and musician...

 

Willie Nelson said once..."I went home to my bus." 

 

Clint Black  has a sign in his bus and says,

"Home Sweet Bus."

 

 
"Living on the bus, Fleck concedes, "isn't for everybody.  It's tight in there, and it's a real party
all the time.  You have to be OK with that."  On a plane, you have to get up very early after
staying up very late and sit in an uncomfortable chair for a long time.  On a bus, you sit around
and watch TV or lay down in your own bunk."  Bela Fleck
We will show the viewer the experience of the plans that it takes to build a tour from the time the artist meet with the producers to design the feel, the stage, the lighting and sound and other elements of the show.  These huge stages are built by companies then packed in several 18-wheeler trucks to move the stage lighting, sound and equipment from  city to city.  This is a great visual...with fun shots in the truck stops, diners, hotels and other stops along the way.

Three of Merle Haggard's buses behind theater in Arizona


Three of Mr. "On The Road Again" himself  Willie Nelson's
buses parked backstage at Merle Haggard's UFO Music Fest.

 

Earnest Tubb's bus

Johnny Cash said about his bus, Unit One:

 

"I have a home that takes me anywhere I want to go, that cradles and

comforts me, that lets me nod off in the mountains and wake up on the plains, my bus, of course... When I make it off the plane and through another airport, the site of that big black MCI waiting by the curb sends waves of relief through me."

"Myself, I've lived out here so long and know it all so well that I can wake up any-
where in the United States, glance out the bus window, and pinpoint my position to within five miles...Like the song says, I've been everywhere, man. Twice.

 

During and around sound check we will set and talk with different folks that are part of the show from roadies,
truck and bus drivers, the entertainers themselves, and some of the support crew like guitar and drum techs,
caterers, promoters and T-shirt sales guys.  ON THE ROAD will show some of the logistics of getting the acts
from the hall to  the hotel rooms and then back to the venue again.  We will record and show the pre show
excitement as the people  begin to file into the concert halls and then the excitement of the band and crew
before the show.


Merle Haggard and Bob Dylan's buses in Seattle

Ramblin' Jack Elliott, Buck Page and Norm Stephens

chat some about being a troubadour...

on the road again
I went home to my bus
home sweet bus
road warriors
highway hobos
hitting the road
knights of the road
Semi Trailer Trucks
tour buses
rock n' roll buses
roadies
backstage
groupies
load in and load out
airports
truck stops

 

 

I got a big bus with a TV and a bar and a little

Room in the back for me and my ole guitar
Gotta stop and fuel up every five hundred miles
Give a picture to the waitress eat a little breakfast country styleThat's my life and I love it...

We get home to Nashville on a Monday night
Record songs on Tuesday and on Wednesday

take out the wife.


But then on Thursday night it's back on the road
I don't care if it's Montana or down in Louisiana

just as long as I goThat's my life and I love it...   

Hank Williams, Jr.

 

 

 

Sasu Weh and Buffalo

"A lot of people feel they should be able to do anything they  want when they're at home, a nd that bus is home to a touring  singer.  I've carried barbeque grills on my buss and stopped  by the side of the road, away from people, to eat and relax  before I climb back on and going to the next town.  To this day I sometimes arrive in a town where I've already paid for  a nice hotel room.  But there are plenty of times I never see the hotel's interior.  I'd rather dress on my bus.    George Jones

 

 

"We're on the road babe!  It's heavy stuff.  New blood, new places,

new faces...we're getting our first taste of what the future holds in

store:  A steady diet of greasy burgers  and cardboard in-flight

dinners, burrowing from one backstage bunker to another  through

interchangeable airport lounges and indistinguishable hotel rooms.

 

Rock Skully and David Dalton         
LIVING WITH THE DEAD         

"On the road again
Like a band of gypsies we go down the highway
We're the best of friends
Insisting that the world be turnin' our way
And our way
Is on the road again
Just can't wiat to get on the road again
The life I love is makin' music with my friends
And I can't wait to get on the road again."

                                  Willie Nelson and Family

 

       

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